Norman – Mum: 23 May 1917

27th Reinforcements
N.Z. Expeditionary Force
May 23rd 1917
Dear Mum,
We have not had our Wanganui march yet. That comes off in a fortnight’s time. We have been to Fielding and had a royal time there everybody treating us in a way that made us very sorry to leave. The march was quite enjoyable and we did not feel the 14 miles in the least as the chaps were singing and joking all the way. Every young lady who showed herself was greeted with a chorus of “There’s a nice little girl over there”, The result was generally a quick retirement on the part of the girls with faces that ranged from bright pink to purple. They are training us now for the long march and we have a six or eight mile tramp every afternoon. I have had no trouble with my legs so far and my cold is much better than when I left town. There is of course no definitive news of our departure although we have been warned to be ready to go at 24 hours notice, so we may leave any day or we may not leave for a month. I have heard nothing more about my private kit yet and I don’t suppose I will unless it turns up when we go back to the racecourse at Awapuni.

Mat is having pretty stiff luck one way and another. Let us know as soon as you can how Mac gets on. Neil told me to ask you to pay any bill that comes from Read the optician. I don’t know whether he told you that he broke his glasses and had to post them to Read to get them fixed up again. Let Neil know how much you pay and he will post money to cover it. He can’t get any notes or he would send it now. He also wants the small pipe and the xxxx but the tobacco doesn’t matter. If I remember right my payments were made up to May 15th and I may not send any more before I go. If I do not send any you can take what I owe out of my allotment.

We are to have our second innoculation in about one hours time so we will be able to sleep in tomorrow morning instead of getting up early. General Henderson the big gun in New Zealand Defence matters is coming up to pay us a visit tomorrow so I guess we will have to have every button glittering and all our uniform spic and span. I hear that we are to return to Awapuni Camp on Saturday next, but this may be only a rumour.

Ask Gorrie to write and let me know whose turn it is to write as I have forgotten. I am writing this on a soft pad on my bed so there is some excuse for it being scarcely readable. Remember to get the photos next week and to write back as soon as you can to

Your son